I love working from home. There’s joy in being able to stay in bed, wear whatever you want, watch TV and to do this all while making a day’s wage. It’s one of the early perks of working jobs in which you’re your own boss.
In fact, I know people who have run successful businesses out of their houses, keeping their equipment, merchandise and products in their homes as well. There came a point for all of them though that they had to move out of their houses and apartments to a new workspace, often an office building, because their business outgrew the small space they were occupying.
Are you wondering how to know when you need to move on to a bigger office? Take note, because it might be coming up sooner than you think!
1. You’re Out of Room
Is your entire house stuffed from floor to ceiling by boxes of the products you sell? Is your employee’s shoulder to shoulder on your couch, or are their desks so close they can see all too well what each other are doing? Does your kitchen have more computers, printers, or other work technology than it does eating utensils?
If your answer to any of these is “yes,” it may be time for a larger place.
A house or apartment can typically only fit so much success before it starts invading too much into the owner’s daily life. I’d say if you or your family are uncomfortable and unable to relax in your home due to work equipment and assets lying around, it may be time to move, though it could make it harder to balance your work and home life when the two are physically separate.
But it could be easier as well and will change person to person. Consider this: do spouses, roommates, and kids have trouble getting privacy or space? Are you able to relax without physically staring at your work? Adjust accordingly.
2. You Have Multiple Remote Employees by Necessity
It is extremely helpful to have employees face to face with you, even if it’s just once or twice a week. And going to Starbucks every time you need to meet with them can get expensive. But of course, anyone with questions should be able to come to you directly, and vice versa.
There are some things a face to face conversation can accomplish that a messenger chat cannot. If you don’t have the room for your employees and most of them are remote by necessity, consider finding a larger space.
For my place of work, some of us work remotely most of the week and some of us come in every day. But ultimately we all have to be there at least one day per week. It helps us interact with each other better, develops deeper working relationships, and clears up confusion about things we’re working on privately. Additionally, it takes a lot less time to hammer out any complicated issues in person sometimes.
3. In-Person Meetings Are Difficult to Organize
When you live in your workspace, in-person meetings can be difficult to put together with potential clients and employees. The privacy needed for such conversations can be difficult to find during hours of operation. Of course, you could always go out to meet them but you still have to keep in mind that all outside-the-workspace meetings get expensive after a while.
Also, maybe your family isn’t comfortable with you giving out your personal address to anyone inquiring about business, or maybe your house is just dirty due to having a family and the fact that you live there. These are just some of the things you should consider.
4. Potential Partners Aren’t Taking You Seriously
There is a small chance that potential partners or other figureheads in your industry might not view you as a professional if all of your employees work from home. For better or worse, an office speaks “professionalism,” like it, in this case, is synonymous with “headquarters.”
I don’t think all of this is fair. But it’s human nature to judge in situations like this. When partners aren’t taking you seriously, or you feel like you’re losing deals because your workspace isn’t professional enough, it may be time to move.
5. You Can Now Afford It
Before you make this decision, not only do you have to outgrow your current workspace, but you have to be able to afford it. Consider how big of an office you can afford with where your business is at and how it’s perpetuated to keep growing.
Count your costs and consider a few things. Many times offices double as storefronts, so you might need a custom sign made. You’ll have to pay for moving costs of equipment as well and be careful that you avoid common mistakes. Power, water, workplace hazards, insurance, and of course, rent if you are indeed renting.
Right now, you may need to move into something smaller than you were expecting, but with more room. Or maybe it’s time to start preparing – as long as you’re still growing, you may be able to make use of storage space until you’ve grown enough to get the kind of office you want!